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Guntersville police confirm victims of double homicide and two other deaths

Two were killed in a double homicide Friday night, and two others were found dead in the same area.

Posted: Jul 14, 2018 7:38 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2018 6:23 PM

It's been an emotional investigation for law enforcement in Guntersville.

"A lot of us have been doing this ... a lot of us have been doing this a real long time. It's tough and it should be tough for us but i can tell you if you think we need motivation. We don't when you got something like this going on here," said Guntersville police chief Jim Peterson.

Guntersville police officials just confirmed the victims involved in Friday night's double homicide as well as the two others who were found dead in the same area. 74-year-old Marie Kitchens Martin and 7-year-old Colton Ryan Lee were brutally murdered in Martin's home on Mulberry street.

Just across the street 65-year-old Martha Dell Reliford was also found dead. Neighbors notified authorities that they hadn't heard from Reliford in a few days, so police did a welfare check.

James Michael Baker was found in a ditch just a few streets away.

Michael chambers is still in custody as a person of interest in the double homicide, but hasn't been charged.

Authorities have been at the crime scene since late Friday night and up until early Saturday morning. Even when they're done investigating, the crime scene tape will be up for another 24 hours.

"That was somebody's family. Somebody's child and somebody's grandmother. Who are you to play God when deciding when someone is supposed to be here or not?" said Christina Franz.

Christina Franz always said "hi" her to neighbors who live down the street from her. Lee was visiting his great-grand mother Martin from Huntsville on Friday afternoon they were brutally murdered in her home.

She said it's hard to believe sometimes tomorrow isn't always promised.

"Just the day before she was out there playing with her grandson and it's crazy to not picture her the next day," Franz said.

Franz was next door with another neighbor and she heard a scream next door when family members learned that their loved ones had been gone.

Guntersville Police took in Michael Chambers as a person of interest. Franz said she knows chambers because he lives in the Mill Village Community , but a few years ago, they were also neighbors.

"You never think of anyone you know being able to do that or be capable of it. This person has been around me and my family and in my home. For him to do this to anyone and even a child...It takes you back," Franz said.

She knew he's been in and out of trouble, but she thought he was getting his life back on the right path.

"He stole my keys two weeks ago off the porch. He came back two weeks later with them with some crazy story of how he ended up with them. That scares me, like what was his plans with them? Could that had been us?"

Guntersville Police also say a homicide isn't common in this community. They have help from local authorities assisting them on this case.

All four bodies have been sent in for an autopsy and authorities believe Baker's death might be from a natural cause.

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